It would seem that the times when you had to visit every room to close or open the shutters throughout the house are gone forever. Nothing could be more wrong – it is estimated that the majority of houses and apartments still don’t have a system which allows for easy and comfortable closing or opening of roller shutters.
And yet the daily opening and closing of roller shutters is one of the most time-consuming things. We open and close them on average four times a day (in the morning, when going to work, coming home and at night). A statistical resident of a one-story house spends up to 24 hours a year on this prosaic activity – which he could spend on his loved ones or on the pursuit of his own passions. And after some time, the frustration caused by this waste of time stops us from using them – and although we spent quite a lot of money on them – we give up the comfort and safety of blinds.
In this article, we will explain how to change it and how to make the central roller shutter control yourself.
While in fact the times of “string” or “crank” roller blinds have passed a decade ago, in many houses or apartments we see the same view: a button for a roller blind next to each window – only this and so much. Only – because in order to close or open the electric roller shutter, we often have to press such a button or even – in some solutions – hold it all the time the roller shutter is moving. That’s it – because each roller shutter can be easily and easily automated with a button. So why don’t we do this? There are three myths in the way, which we hope will be ‘busted’ by our interlocutor – Kamila Rudnicka, an expert in the field of building automation.
This was the case fifteen years ago, when all points (roller shutters) had to be connected with a special control cable with the central button – explains Kamila. In such a solution, the central button, with the help of a cable, informed the controllers installed next to the roller shutters that they were to close or open the shutters. This type of installation actually required forging walls, leading cables – from each window to a selected point of the house – so the costs and damage – in the case when the central roller shutter control system was not installed during construction – were significant. The situation changed with the introduction of wireless solutions – which, after several years of availability on the market, have become equally or even more reliable than those based on wires – adds Kamila.
Well, it depends on what expensive means – each electric roller shutter or shutter needs a controller and / or a button to operate. The cost difference between the simplest controller of acceptable quality and an intelligent, wireless controller from a leading manufacturer – which additionally has a number of functions such as controlling roller blinds with a smartphone, remote control, opening roller blinds at sunrise and sunset, operating a favorite position or time control – is currently between 50 and 100 PLN . Taking into account the average cost of the roller shutter with installation (from PLN 1,500 a piece) – it is only a few percent of the roller shutter price. Considering the time we save each year – this is a rather negligible value.
A complicated connection is a feature of traditional systems that were created over a dozen years ago – and although they are still offered – not much has changed since then – Kamila Rudnicka begins – Often in such solutions, wires from all over the house were connected to the central button – several, even a dozen . Each of them has three or four wires. It gave several dozen wires to connect. And it was this complexity of the installation that caused numerous problems and failures – it was enough for the cable to become loose or damaged and the entire system could stop working. In today’s wireless solutions, even if one device fails, the others will continue to function. Moreover, in the best solutions, the central module is used only for group tasks. In such systems, in the event of a connection failure or a failure of the central control module, it is still possible to use the roller shutter actuators directly.
In wireless solutions, each roller shutter is equipped with a miniature controller – a receiver that transmits a radio signal from the wireless button (or buttons) to the roller shutter motor.
In the best solutions – additionally, such a driver – can provide feedback – about accepting the closing or opening command, about the position of the roller shutter, possible overload – e.g. when the roller shutter gets stuck on a flower pot, etc. – in the opposite direction.
When we press a button – whether on a given floor or when leaving the house, it informs via radio, with a special – coded for security – message – selected roller shutters what we expect from them. Because such a solution has many more functions than just opening and closing. We can, for example, set all blinds in the house to selected positions with one touch of a button – which is especially convenient in the evenings, when we want to still enjoy fresh air but at the same time protect our privacy, or at various scenes (such as a TV show, to which it is easy to we can cover the sunlit windows so that they do not interfere with our watching the movie).
Unlike in the wired systems, where it was necessary to make a complicated installation, often even several hundred meters of cables, the costs of making a wireless system are now significantly lower. Very good, Polish driver (receiver) shutterBox – mounted next to the shutter costs just over PLN 150 (currently PLN 169). In addition to the central control itself, it also has many other functions that can be turned off using the application. The transmitter for the central button is a similar (or even slightly lower) cost. So it is easy to calculate that with “bare roller shutters” (i.e. without any controllers, remote controls, etc.) and with a standard house size – equipped with 10 windows with roller blinds – the cost together with installation – should not exceed 2 000 PLN, i.e. 5 -6% of the price of roller blinds.
Currently? Virtually unlimited number. Contrary to the first wireless solutions, in which the number of receivers was very limited (often up to 8), the central roller shutter control based on shutterBox devices and compatible transmitters can cover tens, hundreds or even thousands of roller shutters – which means that it will check in an apartment, house as well as in a large company or office building. This issue will be discussed in a separate article.
If you feel confident enough with a screwdriver in your hand and you have just the basic experience in the matter of electrical devices assembly (for example you can replace the socket), you are able to implement central control based on blebox devices on your own. Just remember that this kind of electricity is no joke – before proceeding with the installation – make sure that you turn off the power to the shutters. If, for any reason, you want the topic to be dealt with by professionals, any electrician or roller shutter installer will easily do it. Installation of one device won’t take more than a few minutes, so such a service shouldn’t be very expensive.
In order to be able to control the roller shutters centrally, you need two things: a receiver (i.e. a controller that controls the roller shutter motor) and a transmitter – a button, a remote control or a module attached to the existing buttons – which, when pressed, will send an order to open, close or set the roller shutter in a given position.
Each of the shutters we want to control must be equipped with actuators – i.e. a receiver. Depending on the type of roller shutter and the method of installation, it may be, among others, shutterBox – designed for external shutters powered by 230V (but also for shutters, awnings and roof windows) or shutterBoxDC – which allows you to control low-voltage roller shutters – mainly internal, blinds or pleats. If you use the equipment of the Polish company Kontakt-Simon, you can use the Simon GO Shutter device, integrated with the button, which additionally facilitates the assembly. Interestingly, there are many products from leading manufacturers on the market, such as roof windows (by FAKRO) or DRUTEX roller shutters, which are factory-equipped with µWiFi communication and which can be centrally controlled, without the need to install an additional receiver. If you already control your window or roller shutter using the wBox application – just configure the transmitter so that it can close and open it. If you are at the stage of choosing windows, roller shutters or awnings – consult the seller – perhaps the one you want – hedgehog already available in a modern smart version.
Control shutters, slats, window, awning or curtain (230V AC). Schedule – desired position at sunrise and sunset! Remotes!
Control roller shutter, blinds, awnings, windows and 12-24V DC actuators. Movement to a given position at sunrise and sunset!
Zarządzaj oknem z poziomu aplikacji w Twoim smartfonie lokalnie lub z dowolnego miejsca na Świecie.
Central control of roller shutters – wireless They are extremely convenient to use – we can mount them in absolutely any place (within the radio signal range of the roller shutters we want to control), without the need to connect the power supply first. The battery is replaced every few years so it’s not a problem. On the market, there are both modules (inBox) intended for use with any button – (thanks to which you can easily adjust the appearance of the central button to the existing lighting switches, etc.) as well as all central buttons (e.g. buttons offered by Kontakt-Simon- Simon Go Control Battery), which allow you to install a central roller shutter controller in less than a minute – and thanks to hundreds of different frames – they will easily fit into any interior.
Each of these transmitters can handle up to 12 roller shutters.
This kind of transmitters require a connection to a 230V installation (but not to every roller shutter, they can also be connected to existing sockets or lighting installation) but they offer much more possibilities – they can handle up to 30 devices and apart from that – they can send commands to other devices, thanks to which you’re able to multiply the number of controlled devices .. And they never require battery replacement. There are devices available on the market to be placed in a flush-mounted box and to connect any button (actionBox) as well as entire buttons (Simon Go Control).
By using powered transmitters for central control, you can easily divide your home’s shutters into groups – for example shutters on the ground and upper floors. Each of the buttons can operate only those that are in its group or all. You can set what a given button does with your tablet or smartphone using the free wBox application.
Only if you don’t like using your smartphone or simply don’t have time for it. The device is configured with a free application designed for Apple and Android smartphones and tablets. With its help, you can configure what should happen after pressing the buttons as well as enable additional functions (e.g. control from anywhere in the world, sunrise opening, etc.).
The wBox application is easy to use and available in Polish.
Contrary to outdated wireless control systems, the solution discussed in this article also allows you to control other devices – e.g. gates, lighting or an alarm system. The button for the central roller shutter control also gains completely new possibilities. When we close the blinds when we go to work, we can open the gate with one touch, turn off the lights in the whole house and arm the alarm. But about that another time.